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  • Writer's pictureGina Greenlee, Author

Truth Be Told Vol. 7: Childhood Trauma and Mental Illness


Quote
Image credit, Compassion Prison Project
So, what we have in prison are the most traumatized people in our society. Dr. Gabor Maté

Men in prison
Image credit, Compassion Prison Project

On February 12, 2020, 23 Crew Members filmed the documentary “Step Inside the Circle.” This short film examines the pervasiveness of childhood trauma, one of the key factors behind the USA’s high levels of incarceration.


Filmed at a maximum security prison in Lancaster, California, the focus of the day was the compassion trauma circle where 235 incarcerated men stepped inside the circle for each traumatic event they experienced in their childhood.


The questions were based on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey.


Step inside the circle
Image credit, Compassion Prison Project
Our mission is to transform prisons into places that focus on education, mental health and rehabilitation. We advocate for trauma-informed care, community support and a shift in the paradigm in how we incarcerate, isolate and dehumanize the most traumatized members of our society. Fritzi Horstman, Founder, Compassion Prison Project

The reliance of prisons to solve all kinds of social problems is a trend all over the world. Dr. Angela Davis

Woman speaking on stage
Image credit, TED
Instead of building prisons, we should be building spaces to amplify restorative justice. Deanna Van Buren, Architect and Executive Director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces

BB King
Image credit, David Hoffman

In 1972 documentarian David Hoffman decided to film inside Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. What started as a filmmaking class for 50 inmates ultimately blossomed into a 90-minute documentary featuring B.B. King in his prime, iconic folk singer/activist Joan Baez, and The Voices of East Harlem. Comedian Jimmie “J.J.” Walker of TV’s Good Times fame rounded out the four hours of entertainment on Thanksgiving Day, 1972.


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